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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 DECEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 DECEMBER 2018

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Tomorrow’s Static Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. 


General Studies – 1


Topic – Indian Art and culture.

1) Gandhara represents the shared civilisational past of the Indian subcontinent. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to comment on the various factors which would gandhara representative of the shared culture of Indian subcontinent. We can talk about the accounts of Greek scholars, the art and architecture found in the region to comment on the fact that gandhara represented the shared civilisational past of Indian subcontinent.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the geographical location, and historical position of gandhara.

Body

  • Discuss the political influences if gandhara of ten Greek, the mauryas.
  • Highlight that scholars such as Greek historian Herodotus (484-425 BCE) who in his groundbreaking compilation of history, The Histories, mentions Gandhara as a satrapy of Darius I. Ptolemy (90-168 CE) the Hellenic Egyptian scientist says Gandhara existed in the basin of the Kabul river, which is now in present-day Pakistan.
  • Mention that Gandhara is surrounded by high mountains, making the region difficult to access, but because the region is so strategically located, it did not hinder people from all over the region to come to Gandhara – for not only trade and commerce but also for exchange of ideas and learning. Taxila hosted one of the first universities in the world. The region became the gateway into the Indian Subcontinent, producing a uniquely eclectic culture, which in turn produced splendid art.
  • Highlight the Greek and Indian influences found in gandhara art

Conclusion – give your view on how gandhara can be considered as an embodiment of the shared civilisational past of Indian subcontinent.


General Studies – 2


Topic-India and its bilateral relations

2) India should not be deterred by temporary setbacks in its relationship with Maldives and continue to pursue close relationship with its island neighbour. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Relationship between India and Maldives has taken a positive turn in recent days after a phase where the relationship between the countries had soured. Maldives plays an important role in India’s designs for Indian Ocean and hence developments need to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the issue that plagued India Maldives relationship. Thereafter, we need to examine the impact of China on the relationship, discuss the steps taken by India to pursue better relations with Maldives and explain the way forward for the relationship.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When you are asked to analyze, you have to examine each part of the problem. It is a broader term than ‘Examine’.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the recent visit of Maldives president to India and highlight that the relationship between the two countries has oscillated in the recent past.

Body

  • Explain the issues arising in the relationship. Discuss the impact of China on the relationship
    • Maldives had veered too close to China for India’s comfort, welcoming Chinese money for major infrastructure projects and signing a controversial free trade agreement (FTA). India’s entreaties for political moderation and closer security ties were summarily ignored. Etc
  • Discuss the steps taken by Indian government to have better ties with Maldives
    • Mr. Solih’s India visit has seen the two sides emphasise their traditionally close bond. He called India the island nation’s “closest friend” and “reaffirmed his government’s ‘India-First’ Policy”
    • India, for its part, announced a financial assistance package of $1.4 billion for the Maldives in the form of budgetary support, currency swap agreements and concessional lines of credit.
    • Both have agreed to ensure that they would keep other’s security interests in mind as they consolidate cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
    • They have agreed to strengthen maritime security cooperation in the IOR through coordinated patrol and aerial surveillance. Etc
  • Examine future course of the relationship and what this means for India going forward. New Delhi had regained some of its lost space in the Maldives’ foreign policy and politics. Malé has also made it clear that while the neighbourhood will clearly be a priority for the Solih government, China will continue to play an important role as an economic partner. So China is not going to disappear from the Maldivian foreign policy matrix. Nor should India expect it to. But the logic of geography dictates that India’s role will be critical in determining the trajectory of political developments in the Maldives.

Conclusion – Give your view on the status of India Maldives relationship and discuss way forward.


Topic– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3) Discuss how the Consumer Protection bill, 2018 aims to enforce consumer rights and  provide a mechanism for complaint redressal.(250 words)

Reference

The hindu

Why this question

The Parliament has recently passed the Consumer Protection bill and in the face of growing consumerism as well as growing concerns for consumer grievances it is essential to discuss in detail about the salient provisions of the bill.

Directive Word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the consumer protection bill 2018,its role in enforcement of consumer rights and also redressal of various customer issues.

Structure of Answer

Write a few introductory lines about consumer protection bill,2018 E.g The Bill replaces the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.T

Body

Discuss the salient provisions of the consumer protection bill,2018  regarding consumer rights E.g

  • The Bill sets up the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions as quasi-judicial bodies to adjudicate disputes.  The Bill empowers the central government to appoint members to these Commissions. The Bill does not specify that the Commissions will comprise a judicial member.  If the Commissions were to have members only from the executive, the principal of separation of powers may be violated.
  • The Bill empowers the central government to appoint, remove and prescribe conditions of service for members of the District, State and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions.
  • Consumer Protection Councils will be set up at the district, state, and national level, as advisory bodies.  The State and National Councils are headed by Ministers in-charge of Consumer Affairs. The Bill does not specify whom the Councils will advise.  If the Councils advise the government, it is unclear in what capacity such advice will be given.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


General Studies – 3


Topic – Indian agriculture – issues

4) Discuss the reforms carried out in recent years to benefit the farming sector? Evaluate how successful DBT has been for farmers?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The article discusses the reforms carried out for the farming sector and the impact of direct benefit transfer versus the impact of subsidies. At a time when farming sector is showing its displeasure over their status and demanding reforms, the question would help us in examining the issue deeply.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the reforms carried out for agricultural sector and discuss their impact. Thereafter , we need to examine how successful DBT has been in achieving its stated aims and the way forward for agricultural sector in terms of reforms.

Directive word

Discuss – Your discussion should revolve around the reforms in farming sector and its impact.

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the status quo of agricultural sector and highlight some of the issues being faced.

Body

  • Discuss the reforms carried out for farming sector such as with respect to MSP, crop insurance, irrigation, e-NAM etc and discuss how impactful they have been in terms of alleviating issues faced by the sector.
  • Thereafter, discuss the objectives of introduction of DBT and examine how successful it has been. policy shift from price to income support under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) is deemed better as it would incentivise farmers as money is transferred to their bank accounts and bring in much needed efficiency in input use. Explain advantages such as
    • One may not be sure how much DBT to farmers would save governments’ resources but the amount is guaranteed to reach them which is not the case now. Farmers, without undergoing the hassles of authentication, can take independent decisions on the application of fertilisers.
    • Besides, it will help in reducing the transaction cost in creation of digital infrastructure, burden of retailers to maintain records, and errors that often appear using the Aadhaar card.
    • Such an income support measure would be financially sustainable in the long run besides fully compatible with the WTO provision of domestic support

Conclusion – give your view on the impact of DBT and way forward for reforms in farming sector.


Topic: conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

5) The recent guidelines with respect to charging stations for electric vehicles will finally boost electric vehicles in the country. Critically examine. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article talks about the recent guidelines of power ministry for setting up charging infrastructure and the impact it is likely to have on boosting electric vehicles in the country.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss about the recent guidelines brought by power ministry and the reason why the changed guidelines is likely to boost the usage of electric vehicles in the country. We also need to discuss the impact of boosting the use of electric vehicles in the country.

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the mission of the government with regards to boosting usage of electric vehicles.

Body

  • Explain the recent changes brought by power ministry – decision to allow private charging stations to be set up at residences and offices, an individual setting up a station will not require a licence and power distribution company, most of the charging stations in the first stage will be established in mega cities such as Delhi and Mumbai etc
  • Discuss the positive impact of these steps
    • Tackle pollution in mega cities
    • A major reason why electric vehicle is not picking up in India is because of the lack of charging infrastructure. These steps might change that situation etc
  • Discuss the limitation of these steps in bringing the desired change
    • Basic things, such as the incentives on offer for an individual or a corporate entity for setting up charging stations, were not mentioned. Also, there is lack of clarity on issues such as who will provide the land for the charging stations, and whether it would be given by the government at a discounted rate. Etc

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss the way forward.  


Topic-Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.

6)  Discuss the problems faced in wildlife conservation in the eastern India.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Wildlife conservation efforts in across the world including India are inadequate as can be inferred from the recent WWF report as well as news events from various parts of the country. In this context it is important essential to look into the reasons for for inadequacies of wildlife conservation with a special focus on eastern India.

Directive Word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the  problems faced in wildlife conservation in general with a particular emphasis on the situation and problems peculiar to eastern India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the decrease in wildlife numbers. E.g mention the recent Living Planet report of the WWF.

Body-

Discuss the problems faced in wildlife conservation in eastern Indian state like in Bihar. E.g All the sanctuaries in the state are suffering from acute shortage of frontline staff; The respective governments has not recruited any permanent field personnel in the last two decades;no trained staff,absence of wildlife section in the local government;Prominent conservation groups from India and even abroad usually do not care much about eastern India, comprising the states of Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh; naxalism and poor governance in eastern states compared to western parts etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


Topic -Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.

7) People’s Ganga Bill (PGB) gives an alternate but same solutions for Ganga rejuvenation as the draft National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill. Analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article discusses and contrasts the PGB, a set of principles and provisions proposed as an alternative to the recently mooted Ganga bill.

Directive word

Analyze- here we  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss about the PGB as proposed by the civil society members and bring out how it proposes alternate provisions to the draft National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill.

Structure of the answer:

Write a few introductory lines about the People’s Ganga Bill E.g PGB suggests that studies be conducted to assess “Gangatva”, which the PGB’s proponents define as restoring the special properties of the river’s sediments to provide it the ability to kill bacteria etc.

Body

  1. Discuss about the PGB proposed by the civil society members and also discuss how it proposes alternative provisions to the draft National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill E.g Civil society organisations and activists want the Centre to shut down hydroelectric power projects in the Alaknanda, Mandakini, Pinder, Dhauli Ganga streams in the Himalayas to let the Ganga flow freely and also declare these streams, like the Bhagirathi, eco-sensitive zones; Their demand is to ensure more water flows into the river and there are fewer interruptions; delineating the river in four zones—National Ganga River, primary zone (the headstreams), secondary zone (food plain area and the area of the main stream from Devprayag to Gangasagar) and buffer zone (Ganga basin area including primary and secondary zones)—and specific zonal policies to restore aviralta. For nirmalta, they want fresh identification of sources of pollution and continuous monitoring of sewage treatment plants etc. Discuss the differences in quantum of punishments and bring out other significant differences etc.
  2. Discuss how both the documents are same in the sense that their limitations etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic– conscience as sources of ethical guidance

8) Discuss Butler’s view of “nature” and the “principle of conscience.” (250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about Butler’s ideas about the concept of nature and its importance. It also wants us to write in detail about the principle of conscience and its relevance.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few introductory lines about nature. E.g Conscience plays a key role in how Joseph Butler shapes his ethical philosophy, so much so that it may be seen as one of the key tenets of that philosophy.

Body-

  1. Discuss the concept of nature as explained by Butler. E.g Butler designates three perspectives of nature:
  • The first is a motivating force that drives humans to do something.
  • The next meaning is that nature is an inclination; such as a tendency to feel angry when injustice is done to one, or sad when during an emotionally damaging event.
  • Finally, the third connotation of the word refers to the natural supremacy etc.
  1. DIscuss the principle of conscience as propounded by Butler. E.g It  is one of the principles that act as the supreme guide to human nature, above instinctual inclinations, passions, or motivations of the sort in Butler’s ethical philosophy; Butler makes an important point about the role of conscience in the autonomy of the individual. He writes that “by being a law unto itself, we are motivated by our inner sense of moral rightness and wrongness and not being motivated by considerations external to the rightness or wrongness of acting or not acting” etc

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.



NOTE: 

We are giving hints for each question. Please use your creativity and originality to come up with answers that are unique to you. But do so without deviating from core demand of each question. Ultimately you should use your reason and judgement to write your own answer. 

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